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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  April 13, 2011 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT

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and pack they produce. so you can make the choice that's right for you. ♪ on the broadcast tonight, asleep at the switch. more cases of air traffic controllers asleep on the job. tonight, we'll hear what happed when a medevac pilot had to land. lines in the stand on health care and taxes for wealthy amerans. the president's blue print for the nation's fiscal future. family tragedy. a 10-year-old boy escapes as his mother in a minivans dooms herself and three children. grooand the teen brain tonight in the series, unraveling the mystery of teenagers and sleep. also breaking news in the barry bonds trial. "nightly news" begins now.
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good evening. it has happened again. an air traffic controller on the night shift has fallen asleep on jop. not every job has life and death kaunls kwenlss, but the people who fly us around and the people who route them from the ground certainly do. recently, there have been a number of incidents of pileants unail to raise a controller in able to land. the most recent incident this morning before dawn in reno, nev november. listening to the pilot of a medevac pilot. >> we've got a pretty sick patient, we just have to land. >> he got on ground, all was fine, but trouble is just starting for the controller, and we're learning more of these incidents. we want to start off with tom castello in washington. good evening. >> reporter: a busy day.
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this most recent case involving a medevac came bringing a male from california to reno, nevada. about 2:00 this morning, the pilot forced to circle as the controller slept. it was early morning in reno. the pilot of this medevac plane with a seriously ill patient on board trying to land. >> reno tower trying. >> no answer from the tower, but radar controllers in northern california were listening. >> okay, we're going to call them on the phone lines. >> all right, we'll circle more. >> despite circle said to the reno tower, still no answer. finally, the pilot told california controllers he could not wait any longer. >> we have sapretty sick patient. we may have to land. >> roger, and landing will be at your own risk. last reported wind was calm.
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>> today, the faa said the lone controller on duty, two years on the job, admitted he had fallen asleen. they admitted they had tried to save money by keeping traffic low at airports at night. >> you do not put money over safety, you don't do that. this is just the most recent case of controllers sleeping on the job. on march 23rd, two commercial flights had to land on their own at washington's reagan international airport. the controller was suspended for sleeping. february 18th, the faa said a knoxville controller willfully slept as seven planes landed without his help, and today, we have learned of two other cases, march fwo29th, controllers sus d suspended for nomanswering calls, and on april 11th, a boeing operator suspended for sleeping on the job.
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>> this is ridiculous and i'm not going to let it happen, not on my watch. >> today, secretary lahood ordered that all airports should have two controllers on duty at all time. they'll no longer have one controller on duty. meanwhile, we're told that medevac patient in reno is okay tonight. >> unbelievable events. tom starting us off in washington. now to paul tbs also in washington where today president obama tack on the exploding national debt and the explosive politics surrounding it. it's mind boggling when you stand back and look at how much debt we piled up. in 1980, the total was $907 billion. by the end of last year, it soared to $13.5 trillion. as of yesterday, it was up to $14 trillion and change.guthrie
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the prdz plans on chipping away. ? the president spent nearply as much time ripping the republicans' leading plan as he did talking about his own, but one thing they did agree on is that the debt is south of control. the president laid out his proposal to get the fiscal house in order. >> any serious plan to tackle the deficit will require us to put everything on the table and take on excess spending wherever it exists in the budget. >> they set a gale of reducing the $14.2 trillion debt by $4 trillion over the next 12 years. three quarters of the savings would come from spending cuts, the rest from tax revenues and reforming the tax code to close
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loopholes. he called for a $770 billion reduction in discorrectionary spending. $400 billion in defense spending and another $480 billion from medicare and medicaid. where exactly the savings would come from is not yet identified. the president invited the architect of the plan to the speech and ripped republicans for proposing to slash the deficit by sharply limiting medicare and medicaid. >> i don't think there's anything courageous from asking for support from those who can least support it. >> this is not even a plan, this was a speech. >> republicans were quick to return fire, saying the predwas short on specifics. >> we're getting into the parties of attack and rhetoric with one concrete proposal on the table, which is raising taxes. >> the president now wants the vice president to preside over
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negotiations with 18 democratic and republican members of congress where the details will have to be works out. overseas, hosni mubarak and his two sons are getting hauled into court in ejt. he was in court yesterday. it's clear now the new guard in egypt may extract his revenge on the old guard. richard is on home leave. when you and i were there at the height of the uprising, it seems like the whole family had a chance to leave. what happened to them for? >> they made a big mistake. they should have left when they could. the two sons are now in jail, and there are a lot of people who don't want to see them
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leave. they could tace the death penalty. mubarak facing similar charges. he's still in the hospital. he had the heart palpitations when he found out his sons and wife are under investigation. he's trying to stay in the hospital as long as he can, but if he can't and his doctors say he's well enough, he'll go to jail as well. now to the last front where we saw you and the story we know you'll be back to cover in short order, libya. americanerize watching this on television, wondering why the rebels don't have the air cover they need. the rebels are asking the same thing. >> every day, and they're getting frustrated. they had a feeling that the we was with them, that nato was going to deliver them victory, and they discovered that wasn't in incards. they didn't get the man they were hoping for. once the u.s. pulled back their control, the nato air support hasn't been there, and the rebels haven't had enough
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support to win. >> i have seen most people ask you, where does this most end. >> >> this whole movement in the middle east, and i'm worried about it because while people in the region deserve more rights and they want more rights and they're embracing more of the will of the arab street, well, the will of the arab streets is also ferociously anti-israel against israel, and there's many people who believe that if you empower the arab streets and the arab streets wants to see a war or wants to see more justice for the palestinians. then down the road three to five years, this could lead to a major war with israel. it could also force a negotiated settlement. over time, this thing ends in jerusalem. >> richard engle briefly home on leave. we'll see you here or there next. a glimmer of hopeful news from japan tonight at long last. the first passenger plane since the march 11th earthquake and
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snumy landed toot at sendai airport. this is a big deal because it's the same airport we watched a month ago during this. the water rushing across the tarmac at high speed, the facility facing major damage and it will be at least six weeks before it's all back in order. >> barry bonds holds a lot of titles. seven-time mvp, all-time hitter, and today, he's also a convicted felon. he was found guilty in the obstruction of steroid use, but the jury dead locked on charges. >> the jury found barry bonds guilty of giving evasive and misleading answers to a grand jury in 2003, but on the more
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serious charges. they were deadlocked. barry bonds walked out of frel court today saying he wouldn't celebrate, but he did sign autographs. the trial against baseball's home run king was as dramatic as his chase into the record books. key testimony in the case came from bonds' personal assistant. she claims she saw bonds being injected from his trainer greg anderson, an admitted steroid dealer. during dlooe-week trial, they also heard from kimberly bell, bo bonds' former mistress. she said bonds told her he uses steroid as early as '99. jason and jeremy giambi admitted they bought steroids from anderson, but the defense hammered back arguing the government said no proof bonds
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knowingly took steroids. a case they say built on theory, not evidence. as a player, he had a dramatic physician transformation. his rookie year. >> i like that pitch. >> bonds was lean, 185 pounds. of 21 years, baseball's coverboy packed on 55 pounds, evidence, said prosecutors, of steroid use. tonight's verdict does make barry bonds a convicted vellen. no sentencing date has been sent. the maximum sentence called for ten years ipprison, but guidelines show he'll probably face 18 months in prison. when we come back, a 10-year-old boy's dramatic escape from a heartbreaking tragedy. and the teenage brain, a work in progress and what most parnlt wish they could give their kids somehow, someway.
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here in the new york city area, we woke up to awful news this morning. a mother had deliberately, it turns out, desperately, driven her minivan with four young children inside into the hudson reserve. by the time first responders arrived, it was too late for all but one of the children inside. this happened in newburg, new york, bubt 60 miles from our studios. we have the report. >> reporter: on the banks of the
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hudson river, a memorial and a prayer for three young children who lost their lives in this murky water. distraught relatives leaving toys for children who will never play again. police say tuesday evening, 25-year-old lashaunda armstrong loaded all four of her children into a minivan before driving down a boat ramp and into the river, killing herself, her 5-year-old boy, 2-year-old lance, and 11-month-old daughter. their bodies discovered in the van under eight feet of water. >> i don't think to the degree in which we're dealing with the situation today, could it be more trag. but the oldest child survived. the 10-year-old boy was in the fan as it started to sink but managed a frantic escape, lowering the pow window and fleeing before the van submerged,then he climbed up on the banks and flagged a passing motorist. >> he was obviously shaken up,
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having a difficult time trying to explain what happened. he was soaking wet. >> earlier that night, police got a call from armstrong's mother, saying she was tussling with the father of his kids. when they arrived, no one was home. those who know ersaid she was juggling work, school, and four kids. >> she had issues, but i never thought it would have led to something like this. >> police say if the 10-year-old hadn't escaped they may never have found the van or the family, but so far, they have no concrete answers as to why a mother would do the unthinkable. >> a case we'll always wonder about. thanks for the report. up next tonight, fascinating new numbers on who on earth works the hardest, shops the most, even spends the most time in the kitchen. even spends most time in the kitchen.
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mother nature like the smackdown the empire state building received from the heavens above last night. between three and four lightning strikes, most of the action captured by an enterprising single photographer and condensed onto youtube. she called the imagery the holy grail. and over 2 million people have watched this on youtube. it's called president of czech republic steals pen. czech tv added the helpful graphics. you see him in a press conference with the president of chile. he opens the pen box, admires it, and does the classic look-away while depositing it in his pocket. he defended the five-finger deposit saying it's custmy in signings but back home, they have launched a campaign to send him thousands of pens.
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>> most aides will tell you the problem with joe biden -- getting him to relax, which he did today. at the televised budget speech. video of the vice president and his heavy eyes also getting heavy rotation on the web. the talks of debts and deficits and entitlement programs proved too much. happens to the best of us. >> the new numbers are out on work. the organization for economic cooperation and development tells us regularly who in the world works the most and least. mexicans work the most in terms of paid and unpaid work. the average is ten hours a day in mexico. the belgians have the shortest work day at closer to seven. everywhere they surveyed, women do more unpaid work than men. the biggest shoppers are the french, 32 minutes a day on average. turks spend the most time cooking, 74 minutes, compared to a half-hour on average for americans, we spend the least time cooking of any nation on
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earth, blame the microwave, though we seem to have no fewer than 500 cooking shows. when we come back tonight, what science is teach lg of us about a subject that baffles just about all of us, teenagers and how to get them enough sleep. t. teenagers and how to get them enough sleep. want to face the ft that you're at greater risk of a heart attack or stroke. plavix helps protect people with acs against heart attack or stroke: people like you. it's one of the most researched prescription medicines. goes beyond what they do alone by helping to keep blood platelets from sticking and forming dangerous clots. plavix. protection against heart attack or stroke in people with acs. [ female announcer ] plavix is not for everyone. certain genetic factors and some medicines such as prilosec reduce the effect of plavix leaving you at greater risk for heart attack and stroke. your doctor may use genetic tests to determine treatment. don't stop taking plavix without talking to your doctor as your risk of heart attack or stroke may increase.
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people with stomach ulcers or conditions that cause bleeding should not use plavix. taking plavix alone or with some other medicines, including aspirin, may increase bleeding risk, which can potentially be life threatening, so tell your doctor when planning surgery. tell your doctor all medicines you take, including aspirin, especially if you've had a stroke. if fever, unexplained weakness or confusion develops, tell your doctor promptly. these may be signs of ttp, a rare but potentially life-threatening condition, reported sometimes less than two weeks after starting plavix.
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not too early to let not too early to let you know about something here tomorrow night, occupy conversation with paul simon. in fact in the room where he recorded his new album, another hit for the american icon. we'll have the interview tomorrow night. time now for the second part of the investigation, the teenage brain. the average teenager sleeps just 7 1/2 hours a night. that's about two hours less than recommended and still most of us think that 7 1/2 number is too optimistic. our chief medical editor dr. nancy snyderman tells us what all that does to the teen brain, what we're calling a work in progress. >> reporter: early morning in chicago, and it isn't easy for 15-year-old malik to wake up, or for his younger brother.
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>> it's a struggle every morning. their energy every morning, there's nothing coming at me. >> reporter: that begs the question, what affect does sleep or the lack of it have on the teen brain? this sleep scientist has been studying teens for decades. >> there is this mythology that the older you get, the less sleep you need. >> starting at 12, children's internal body clocks keep them up later even though they need over nine hours of sleep, and new research is finding older adolescents, 18 and up, might need more than that because their brains have a harder time recovering at night. >> in the older teenage years where really important circuitry is linking up, that this need for sleep could be even a little longer than for the younger teens. >> neuroscientist said during the late teen years, the frontal lobe of the brain starts to mature. the area responsible for reasoning. >> all the things that the
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frontal lobe of the brain do help us control impulses, make long-term decisions, sort out competing priorities, get worse with sleep deprivation. >> teen brains are going through a critical time. they found a link between sleep dep rivation in teens and adhd, obesity, and depression. >> this school in chicago has integrated lesps on sleep. these kids learn how to sleep better and why they need sleep at all. >> they're getting it and they're excited about getting it. sometimes they'll come in and say, guess what, i got ten hours of sleep. >> affectses that last long after their teenage years. that nine or ten-hour figure may be ideal, but aim for 8 1/2 and get the computers out of the room, turn off the electronics,
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and get the caffeine out of their lives. >> and can i stick up for the kids, the homework they're forced to do these days? >> more on the web of the tire series of reports. for us now, this is our broadcast for this wednesday night. thank you for being with us. i'm brian williams. as always, we hope to see you ♪ [ male announcer ] america's beverage companies are working together to put more information right up front. adding new calorie labels to every single can, bottle